Last updated: September 25, 2023
Currently, the urine test is the only drug testing method used by employers of the safety-sensitive workforce. In fact, it’s the most widely used employee drug test in the country across the board. Employees who fear testing positive for drugs sometimes resort to tampering with or substituting the urine specimen. Manufacturers catering to this group of customers proclaim they have products that work! Subsequently, you can find scads of “beat the test” remedies online. Homemade or manufactured and marketed as detox products, proclamations of success abound. The latest trend is to use fake pee—otherwise known as synthetic urine.
It sells online and at brick-and-mortar establishments, such as head shops and truck stops. Marketed under such names as “Monkey Whizz,” “Clean Stream,” and “UPass”—nothing like being discreet, eh? They range in price somewhere between $17 and $40. Purchased in powder form, the chemicals, salts, and yellow coloring are mixed with water as needed.
Most synthetic urine comes with a temperature-sensing strip attached to the solution bottle. Some have a strap, too, so the individual can secret the stuff away on their person until they reach the privacy of the testing facility’s bathroom.
Things can still heat up though
The DOT has strict regulations that must be followed, for instance, the testing technician reads the specimen temperature as soon as it’s returned to them. There is a temperature strip on the specimen bottle. The acceptable range in temperature is between 90 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. If the specimen is out of range, an immediate red flag is raised.
Regarding an individual’s attempt to submit synthetic urine in place of their own, the testing technician may not be made aware of it. However, the DOT requires that all drug testing be completed by a SAMHSA-approved laboratory. Laboratories that have gained the approval of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services are the best of the best. Top-notch lab techs are trained to pay attention to how the specimen looks. Color and clarity matter.
For instance, lots of people don’t realize that all urine contains bits of sediment. If someone presents a crystal clear specimen, it’s sure to raise an eyebrow. It’s a reasonable cause for more in-depth testing. Failing to mix the powder exactly as instructed can cause problems for the drug user, too, of course.
States banning synthetic urine
In an effort to curb attempts to “get over” on the company drug test using a substitute, at least eighteen states have banned the sale or distribution of synthetic urine.
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
It appears other states will follow suit.
Staying on top of things
Drug abusers grow desperate when faced with taking a drug test. The reality of the consequences of testing positive hits hard. Some try to obtain a false negative by using either homemade or purchased detox products. Others use synthetic urine as an option.
The reality of the situation is that while someone may occasionally squeak through the cracks, laboratory equipment has become very sophisticated. Drug tests, themselves, have upped the game as well. Combine these two facts with the knowledge and experience held by laboratory technicians and it’s not hard to figure out that the more things change, the more things stay the same.
Drug abusers will keep trying to get over on their employers by obtaining a false negative on a drug test. More importantly, though, drug tests will keep weeding them out.